The NHS Health Check is a national programme that aims to prevent vascular disease including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. Patients between the ages of 40 and 74, who have not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions are invited (once every five years) to have a Health Check to assess their risk of developing one or more of the conditions above and are then given advice and support to help them reduce or manage that risk.
In Oxfordshire, the free Health Check service is available from your GP. The Health Check appointment should take about 20-30 minutes. You will be asked some simple questions about your family history, lifestyle and any medication you may be taking. Your height, weight, age, sex and ethnicity will be recorded and you will have your blood pressure measured and your cholesterol level checked.
Following the check, you will receive free personalised advice about what you can do to stay healthy. Even, if you are feeling well, it is worth taking up your invitation for the NHS Health Check when you get it – prevention is better than cure.
There is absolutely no need to worry about being called in for a Health Check – the aim is to prevent illness, and a few minutes spent on your health now could add years to your life. If the Health Check does highlight any potential problems then you will be offered plenty of advice and support to help you address them.
Patients who have had a Health Check told us, that the free personalised advice about what they can do to stay healthy is very useful and helps them make positive decisions about their health and lifestyle.
NHS Health Check is an investment in your future, not to mention a chance to get some peace of mind about your health, so if you are contacted by your GP then do not miss the opportunity to take it up!